Re: why we shoot film/Peeping Tom/scopophlia

From: Anna Biller (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 09:15:01 PST

What is the Laura Mulvey commentary you're referring to?

On Mar 5, 2006, at 12:24 PM, David Westling wrote:

> Dear list,
> I've just been immersing myself in that film, just day before
> yesterday, watched it twice all the way through and a few key scenes
> more than twice. Ah, the wonders of DVD Criterion collection. I got
> a lot out of the Laura Mulvey commentary actually. My philosophical
> tendencies make me want to focus on the Behaviorism/Freudianism
> dichotomy so sharply sketched in the film, reducible to the breach
> between science and art. Filmmaking--and scop(t)ophilia--are placed
> on the side of science; the blind woman, she who relies so much on
> evidence not available to the five senses, and Freud, are placed on
> the side of art. (Take note, Frederick Crews!) A more thorough
> indictment of the spirit of filmmaking would be hard to imagine. And
> yet he made this film...perhaps his greatest achievement, and that's
> saying something. One looks at what one cannot possess/experience.
> An observer is not a participator, he stands aloof from direct
> experience. And it takes a psychological toll. This dovetails nicely
> into the notion of the implication of the audience in this, shall we
> say questionable, enterprise of looking at a film. Even on DVD the
> color is absolutely stunning, Eastmancolor, "associated with the cheap
> horror films coming out of Britain in the 50s". Powell's use of red
> in this film is most compelling. What an audacious enterprise, almost
> Dadaistic in its flagrant disregard for accepted standards of taste.
> I'm still amazed by that three-second shot of that woman lying nude on
> the bed near the end of the film. That was the first shot of a
> bare-breasted woman in mainstream English film history (1960). The
> camera is, for the protagonist, a sort of fifth (or sixth) limb; he
> becomes extremely upset at being separated from it even for a short
> time. The young girlfriend tries to get him to take it off for awhile
> at one point and she actually succeeds, but ultimately, his connection
> to it is too deep and disaster is the only possible outcome. To me,
> the guilt we experience in watching this film comes not only from out
> intense identification with the killer but from the
> hardly-acknowledged realization that our position as mere observer,
> one which effectively hides us from the ongoing action, is one that
> reduces us to cipher status.
> And you love that??!?
> David Westling
> Chicago IL
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.